The Garden of Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane

Gethsemane was an olive grove – the name means, “Oil press”. There are olive trees there today that are estimated to be thousands of years old. The location of the Garden of Gethsemane is on the western slope of the Mount of Olives, which is immediately to the east of the Old City of Jerusalem, separated only by the Kidron Valley. It was approximately a half-mile walk from the upper room where they celebrated the Last Supper.

The account of Jesus agonizing in prayer the night of His betrayal took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, and is recorded in all four gospels (Matthew 26:36-56; Mark 14:32-53; Luke 22:40-53; John 18:1-11). And just as a giant, heavy, stone wheel turns down upon the olives to release their oil, so Jesus, as He prayed the night He was betrayed, also went through a spiritual process of heavy pressing.
Sensing the tremendous horror of the suffering that lay before Him, and the expectation of his arrest, trial and crucifixion, Jesus pleaded with the Father that, “if it be possible, please take this cup from me.” The greatest spiritual battle since the beginning of time took place there, that night, in the Garden. Christ suffered the agonizing weight as of the sins of the whole world as sin’s judgment bore down upon Him. Sorrow overcame Him to the point of death.

Luke’s narration states, “An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:43, 44) The agony Christ experienced at Gethsemane was more than a fear of death. What He faced was the horror of the judgment of our sin. Because He was fully human, and yet without sin, and also being in very nature God in the flesh, He could identify with human suffering, and was and is, sympathetic to our human weakness. He became our Great High Priest who, as Isaiah prophesied, “hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” He submitted His will to God the Father’s will and drank the vile cup filled with the curse of sin. As the full weight of human guilt crushed down upon His body, He willingly laid down His life to redeem us from the curse of sin and eternal damnation.

Whoever Finds God, Finds Life

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